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  1. MarieLina's Avatar
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    #1

    Spelling out names and addresses

    What phrase do English speakers use for spelling names, words, etc. I have heard two options:
    1) "a" for alfa, "b" for bravo
    2) "a" as in alfa, "b" as in bravo

    Which of them is correct and commmonly used?

    Thanks!

  2. Munch's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Spelling out names and addresses

    Quote Originally Posted by MarieLina View Post
    What phrase do English speakers use for spelling names, words, etc. I have heard two options:
    1) "a" for alfa, "b" for bravo
    2) "a" as in alfa, "b" as in bravo

    Which of them is correct and commmonly used?

    Thanks!
    1 is better, but you don't have to use the official radio spelling alphabet. You can just say any word that helps, “A for apple” etc. Just don’t say “P for psycho” or something else unhelpful like that.

    Also, if your pronunciation is clear and there is no possible confusion, you don’t have to use a word. You can just say, “Smith Street, S – M – I – T – H”. But maybe you already knew that.

    ETA: If I have already spelt a word and I then realise there is possible confusion, I might say, “Oh, that’s M as in Mary”

  3. MarieLina's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Spelling out names and addresses

    Thank you for your explanation.
    I need this to know, because sometimes, while talking on the phone, there is some misunderstanding happens due to the bad phone connection.

    And what does "ETA" mean?

  4. Munch's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Spelling out names and addresses

    ETA means Edited To Add.

    Sorry, I picked it up from another forum.

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    #5

    Re: Spelling out names and addresses

    I use this version:

    The Police Letters Alphabet - alpha, bravo, charlie, delta .......

    I say 'My name's Splotch - that's sierra, papa, lima, oscar, tango, charlie, hotel.'

    People who are accustomed to taking names over the telephone understand this immediately.

    There's no need to say 'a for alpha, b for bravo etc.'

    Rover

  5. Munch's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Spelling out names and addresses

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    I use this version:

    The Police Letters Alphabet - alpha, bravo, charlie, delta .......

    I say 'My name's Splotch - that's sierra, papa, lima, oscar, tango, charlie, hotel.'

    People who are accustomed to taking names over the telephone understand this immediately.

    There's no need to say 'a for alpha, b for bravo etc.'

    Rover
    This will probably confuse Americans and non-native speakers alike, but I have watched enough of The Bill to be able to follow people who do that!

  6. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Spelling out names and addresses

    I'm more familiar with "That's D as in Dog" than "D for dog."

    I was in the Navy and can do the alpha, bravo, charlie, delta, but many people don't think that way.

    My worst one ever was "K as in potassium." Sadly, the person I said it to didn't even hesitate. We're both geeks.

    Usually it's the rhyming letters - C, D, E, G, T, Z, etc. - that need this, and M and N, which are very hard to distinguish over the phone.


    For some reason, J, K, and A don't get mixed up.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #8

    Re: Spelling out names and addresses

    Military Phonetic Alphabet

    Here is the official US Military alphabet.

  7. MarieLina's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Spelling out names and addresses

    Thank you all for your comments. It's very important and interesting for me.

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